Category Archives: Macroeconomic policy

Yanis Varoufakis: Presenting an Agenda for Europe at Ambrosetti

If you followed Yanis Varoufakis before he became a household word (at least in Europe and in finance circles), you’ll recognize that he is making a layperson-friendly case for the Eurozone reforms that he, Stuart Holland, and Jamie Galbraith call A Modest Proposal. A new wrinkle is that he argues that the scarcity of bonds eligible for QE argues for one of its ideas, infrastructure spending funded by the EIB (those bonds would presumably be eligible for QE purchases).

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Bernie Sanders Blasts “Robin Hood in Reverse” Subsidies to the Rich, Calls for Full Employment

Bernie Sanders gave a forceful, if sobering, assessment of the state of the economy from the perspective of working men and women, as well as retirees, and focused on the hypocrisy of corporations and the wealthy that poor-mouth as a way to extract even more subsidies and tax breaks.

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Penciling Out Greece’s Payment Deadlines and Budget Needs

Yves here. Unlike many other comments on the state of Greece’s finances, this post takes a stab at Greece’s ongoing budget needs as well as its various debt due dates. Note that one uncertainty flagged here has been resolved in Greece’s favor. The Greek government will receive €550 million this month from the Hellenic Financial Stability Facility.

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Rob Parenteau: Why Understanding Money Matters in Greece

As Greece staggers under the weight of a depression exceeding that of the 1930s in the US, it appears difficult to see a way forward from what is becoming increasingly a Ponzi financed, extend and pretend, “bailout” scheme. In fact, there are much more creative and effective ways to solve some of the macrofinancial dilemmas that Greece is facing, and without Greece having to exit the euro. But these solutions challenge many existing economic paradigms, including the concept of “money” itself.

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Do Greece, the Troika, and the Eurogroup Actually Have a Deal?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has a new article on Greece’s scramble to find the funds to meet it March IMF payments, which are €1.5b in total, with €300 due on Friday. Note that IMF payment dates aren’t as hard and fast as credit card due dates; the agency allows borrowers some leeway if they have a clear intent to pay.

Nevertheless, Evans-Pritchard’s most important observation may be the one at the close of his article:

Whatever piece of paper they signed in Brussels 10 days ago, the two sides are still talking past each other.

In other words, the two sides disagree profoundly as to what the memo means. And that may mean that in reality, there is no deal at all.

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Mathew D. Rose: Greece – Dead Man Walking

Rose focuses on an issue that reader Swedish Lex and other have pointed out: the heavy-handed actions of Germany in the tempestuous negotiations between the Eurozone and Greece have wound up being a major own goal.

But the bigger issue that Rose raises is that last week’s ugly negotiations, in combination with the fiasco in Ukraine, is exposing Germany as a lousy hegemon, which he argues is producing a political crisis in Germany and fracture lines in Europe.

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